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Social Media 101: How to Get the Most from Tweeting on the Road

For the third year, Travel + Leisure's Social Media in Travel and Tourism (SMITTY) awards is recognizng the brands and companies transforming the industry with their online innovations (think digital concierges and exclusive social giveaways).

To help you leverage the digital boom on your next trip and cash in on the latest social currency, we tapped four platform experts for their outreach strategies and insider tips.  

This week, Twitter’s Head of Travel Mike De Jesus explains how to leverage your social clout  - and reveals the one hashtag you shouldn’t be traveling without.  

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Mesmerizing Map Makes it Easy To Follow Whales

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It may be the tail end of whale watching-season in Hawaii, but with the new interactive map that tracks their migration, you can follow your favorites all year long.

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For more than 20 years, Cascadia Research has been compiling whale data that has, unfortunately, remained inaccessible to the public. Thanks to Scot McQueen at the startup Earth Science-software development team, Smartmine, this rich mine of information can now be tapped. 

“What you see right now,” McQueen says of the interactive map—a hypnotic swirl of ocean and wind currents undulating across the Pacific and speckled with pods of migrating whales—“is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Soon, McQueen and his team of developers hope to incorporate all of Cascadia’s data, giving the map a global spread and providing users new ways to identify with the data.

Instead of an abstract pin, the Smartmine Whale Tracking Map will provide visitors with the actual photographs of each individual whale. “It’s the idea that this is a unique animal—not just data—and you can have a deeper connection with it.”

In addition to Hawaii’s hallmark humpback whales, you can track the migrations of pigmy killer whales around Oahu, sperm whales, beaked whales, and false killer whales as they converge at the tip of Kapaau.

When asked about the potential threat this data could cause to the whales’ safety (noting the recent reports of poachers tracking endangered rhinos with geotagged safari photos in South Africa) McQueen assured us that the Whale Tracker has the animals’ best interests at heart.

“There’s absolutely no live data,” McQueen said. While whale enthusiasts can’t rely on the map for an accurate sighting, the delay in transmission keeps the whales from being harassed.

Ultimately, McQueen and his team are driven by the desire to bridge the enormous gap between the scientific and general communities, and to cultivate the shared desire to explore our planet. 

Melanie Lieberman is an editorial intern and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow her on twitter at @LittleWordBites. 

Photo courtesy of GeoEngineers

 

Google's Self-Driving Car Makes The Road Trip of Tomorrow

201405-hd-google-self-driving-carjpgSomewhere in Google’s hometown in Mountain View, California, there is a car navigating the suburban streets without a driver. 

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Book The First Ever Private, Three-Room Cabin Aboard Etihad Airways

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Forget about seat pitch and roomy armrests: on Etihad Airways, you can book The Residence. This private, three-room cabin is a spacious 125-square-feet, and more akin to a boutique hotel room than an airplane seat.

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Glacier Skywalk Opens For Fearless Views of Jasper National Park

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Starting today, visitors to Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies can view the glacial vistas and sweeping pine valleys from the Glacier Skywalk – and the breathtaking glass observation platform that extends from the cliff’s edge at a staggering height of 918 feet.

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Lyft Leaps to 24 New Cities

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The rideshare service Lyft—which debuted last year exclusively in San Francisco—recently launched in 24 new markets. Now, the app connects the world’s largest network of on-demand rides with people who need a lift.

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Campaign for William Shakespeare Day Takes Flight on easyJet

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There’s much ado about Shakespeare at Gatwick Airport, and the United Kingdom’s largest airline, easyJet, is leading the fanfare.  With record-breaking “onbard” entertainment and a special edition Shakespeare aircraft, the 450thbirthday of the greatest English writer in history did not go unnoticed.

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Map Your Way to the Best Cookbooks In America

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America’s melting pot is boiling over with revived regional cuisine and distinctive flavor profiles.  Amazon Books’ Food Editor, Mari Malcolm, was inspired by a surge of localized cookbooks—and wanted to put the best of the year (and the all-American classics) on the map.

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The Duke and Duchess Make Fairytale Trip to Uluru

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This week, Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, visited the breathtaking World Heritage landmark, Uluru, during the final leg of their three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand.

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Dutch Debut World’s First Glow-in-the-Dark Highway

Glowing Dutch Highway

Earth Day News: Just outside the Dutch city of Oss is a 500-meter stretch of highway that glows in the dark. Like a set from a sci-fi film, the photo-luminescent road markings illuminate the lanes with an otherworldly emerald light.

The technology is part of interactive artist Daan Roosegaarde’s vision to bring innovative, sustainable designto everyday infrastructures. In a partnership with Dutch engineering firm Heijmans, he created a revolutionary paint with the ability to absorb daylight for energy, and radiate an eye-catching hue at night.

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